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Nat Prod Commun. 2011 Oct;6(10):1559-64.

Effect of salt, drought and metal stress on essential oil yield and quality in plants.

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Environmental Biology Laboratory, Department ofBotany, University of Delhi, Delhi-110 007, India.

Erratum in

  • Nat Prod Commun. 2011 Nov;6(11):1797.


Essential oil extracted from plants is of high commercial value in medicine, cosmetics and perfumery. Enhancing yield and maintaining the quality of oil is of significant commercial importance. Production of oil in plants is dependent on various biotic and abiotic factors to which the plants are subjected during their growth. Plants are exposed to various degrees of stress on account of natural and human-induced factors. Salinization, drought and presence of heavy metals in the substratum cause substantial effect on the yield and quality of bioactive constituents in the oil. In many plants, the level and kind of stress have detrimental effects on the growth and development. This review provides an account of the studies on some common abiotic stresses to which essential oil plants are exposed during their growth period and their influence on quality and quantity of oil. The yield and quality vary in different plants and so is the response. Enhancing essential oil productivity is an important challenge, and understanding the role played by stress may offer significant advantages to the essential oil farmers and processing industry. Scientific evaluation of the data on many important but unexplored essential oil plants will also help in mitigating, ameliorating and minimizing the harmful effects caused by stress.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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